Earlier this year, I wrote a column lamenting the loss of the Internets collective memory and how we may never see the first Web sites or old Usenet discussions again. Several readers responded, touting the Internet Archive at www. archive.org, which only goes back to 1996. Worse, it wasnt easily accessible to the public. (Users had to request access via a form.)
Although it still goes back only to 1996, it is now much easier to surf the past of the Web in the 100-terabyte database at the Internet Archive. That is because Alexa Internet is making the archive accessible to everyone through the new Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Using this new Web site, I was able to search for old content or even surf directly to now-extinct Web sites, with links and graphics intact. I even looked at eWeeks own Web past.
The Wayback Machine pulls content from a huge database,so it takes a lot longer for pages to load—although not much longer than surfing on a 14.4K-bps modem connection. To go back to yesteryear, go to web.archive.org.